Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Counselor Education


Educational Leadership, Counseling, and Foundations

Major Professor

Zarus Watson

Second Advisor

Barbara Herlihy

Third Advisor

Justin Levitov


Philosophical tenets have been at the heart of the counseling process since its inception. This study explores the factors present within a graduate-level counseling class that directly teaches these philosophical foundations through an exploration of dialectics and its impact on the medium of conversation. Interviews were conducted with both the professor that created the class as well as its current instructor along with focus groups of both current program students and program alumni. The fundamental aim was to understand the processes at work within the class and their influence on its students. The results suggest that by bringing the students into awareness of their own interpretative process by reading and discussing dense philosophical works that require them to bring something of themselves to the literature, the class fosters within its students an understanding and appreciation for the pervasiveness of the interpretative process within all people, especially those that will one day be their clients. This knowledge also seems to provide the students with a paradigm compatible across all perspectives and theories that will contribute to their counselor education.


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